Sexual health emerges as a key aspect of wellbeing during adolescence. Adolescents’ lives are marked by intense developmental changes, not limited to peak physical growth and cognitive maturation, but major transitions in psychological, social and relationship goals and strivings. For girls, the challenge to achieve sexual health and wellbeing often in spite of external cultural and societal barriers is one that must be supported by evidence-based policy and health resourcing. Here we present the case, using a health and human rights lens, for why adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive health is a key indicator of women’s health globally. We present the current data on adolescent sexual behaviour, sexuality and gender diversity and health across countries. Vulnerabilities of gender and sexuality diverse young people are explored as are adolescent girls’ challenges in accessing sexual and health services. We discuss why inclusive comprehensive sexuality education is essential to supporting adolescent girls in achieving sexual health and why it should be universal. Effective interventions in schools and the community setting, which have been demonstrated to promote safe sexual behaviour, reduce sexually transmitted infections and unplanned adolescent pregnancies, are summarised.
|Title of host publication||Routledge International Handbook of Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health|
|Editors||Jane M. Ussher, Joan C. Chrisler, Janette Perz|
|Place of Publication||London UK|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Number of pages||19|
|ISBN (Electronic)||9781351035613, 9781351035620|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|